This "Game of Thrones" discussion is written by someone who has read George R.R. Martin's books but will only discuss events that have happened on the HBO's televised version. Please respect these boundaries should you choose to participate in the comments section.
Episode 4.2, "The Lion and the Rose"
FINAL SCORE: Violence 5, Sex 0
(The baseline for the score is dead bodies versus nude bodies, though the reviewer reserves the right to award bonus points for inspiring non-deadly violence, award-worthy merkins from the costume department, or other corrections deemed necessary to reflect an accurate score.)
Totals: One young girl hunted down, shot through the leg with an arrow and devoured by dogs; three men burned alive; some PG-rated sparring; one deer surprised by a direwolf; one history book mercilessly slashed by Valyrian steel; one serving of dead-dove pie; and I think that's about it. Pretty tame episode. Am I missing anything?
Last week's scorecard
Last week's scorecard
Game notes: Ah yes, the matter of one Joffrey Baratheon: King of Westeros, incestuous love-child of Cersei and Jaime Lannister, and the sadistic, entitled, cowardly asshole who has arguably been the most hated character on TV for the better part of three years.
Yes, three YEARS you've wanted this, dear reader. It was the beginning of Season 1 when Joffrey showed no remorse at Bran falling out of a tower to his near-death. He responded to Arya kicking his ass by ordering Lady -- the pet direwolf of Sansa, his betrothed -- put to death. He reneged on sending Eddard Stark to the Wall to have him beheaded.
He threatened Sansa with a crossbow in front of the royal court, then ordered her stripped and beaten. He accepted a gift of two prostitutes by having one beat the other. He murdered a hooker with a crossbow, complained about climbing stairs, humiliated his uncle during Tyrion's wedding, and insulted Tywin (bad idea) after he arranged the Red Wedding.
Remember all that. Savor the bile that pickled your guts for three years, and let its acid turn your stomach once more in Jack Gleeson's snidest, smuggest, most loathsome performance to date. Which is to say: Joffrey is just as shitty and reprehensible as ever, but this time -- instead of a scene or two over the course of an episode -- we get scene after scene of Joffrey being a dick compacted into the final half of the episode.
We earned this.
Almost every other major character in "Game of Thrones" who begins as a villain is offered some nuance or complexity -- Sansa grows from her superficial beginnings, the Hound has his own particular code of honor, and Jaime morphs from incestuous Kingslayer to character we love. But Joffrey never got an ounce of ink from George R.R. Martin that would even partially redeem him. He was born to be hated so that his death could bring us joy.
Le roi est mort; vive le roi.
Totals: A delightfully plunging neckline on Ellaria Sand; one be-thonged acrobat doing some inverted splits at Joffrey's wedding; sex-eyes between Loras Tyrell and Prince Oberyn.
Game notes: Seriously? Some cleavage and one nice ass? Sex got no-hit on Sunday night, and it would've been a perfect game had the visitors from Dorne not drawn a walk.
Missing in Action
As much as I love what the show can do with its characters when -- as we see in this week's episode -- the cameras linger in one geographic location, there's something to be said for giving the beating hearts of the show their due. A little more than three seasons in, it's clear that viewers align with Tyrion, Daenerys, Arya, and Jon Snow more than anyone else in Westeros and the lands beyond. And while the last week's premiere lacked nothing for the absence of Bran and Stannis, "The Lion and the Rose" definitely loses some of the series' propulsive drive by ignoring three of those four characters.
Coulda used some nudity, too.
1. Bronn and Jaime
2. Lady Olenna and Tywin
10. Bran and Summer. Hey Jojen, if you have a problem with Bran sleeping so much to inhabit Summer, maybe wake him up a couple hours earlier? Nobody needs your lectures, man. And why can't you brain-control that wolf to bring some food our way?
33. Ramsay and Miranda. They work well together.
67. Melisandre and Scaleface
812. Ramsay and Reek/Theon. "It's me and the guy I castrated! I totally trust him now!"
Margaery Tyrell wants to get engaged -- to you. Do you say yes?
HELL YES YOU SAY YES. NATALIE DORMER IS WALKING SEX.
Please keep in mind that her last two husbands have died almost instantly.
LOL THE TINY DEATH NO DOUBT IT HAPPENED FAST.
No, the very big and very permanent death. And Joffrey never even had sex with her.
OKAY PHEW THAT WAS MY ONE WORRY. LET'S DO THIS.
Priceless history books destroyed: 1
Nonbelievers burned: 3
Little persons employed: 6
Glasses of wine spilled: at least 4
Avian Pie Escape Percentage: .938
Cersei being a capital "C": non-stop, really
DNP - Coach's decision
Arya (training to kill); Jon Snow (preparing to kill); Dany (marching to kill); snow zombies; the rest of Ellaria Sand; Joffrey's food taster; the Thenns; Jon's fat friend, Rickon, Grey Worm; new Daario; old Daario; Sandor Clegane; chickens; dragons; boobs.